Friday, April 10, 2020

Delegates are STILL important

The Democratic Party will nominate a candidate at its convention in August. They will also debate planks to a pretty useless platform (candidates are not in any way required to abide by the party platform). And they will set rules for the party. 

In 2016 Bernie Sanders had enough delegates on these committees to make some pretty major changes in the way the party operates. The "Unity Reform Commission" ended first ballot "super delegates," for example.

While Sanders has suspended his campaign to concentrate on his work as a senior member of the Democratic leadership in the Senate, he is remaining on the ballot to amass delegates who can push for more changes. At the state party level, delegates elect DNC members and that can also have an impact on the national party's direction.

In addition, there are still months to go and many unknowns about our country's financial, social, and political future and about the candidate currently 300 delegates ahead. As health stocks soared on news that Sanders is suspending and news that health plans may cost up to 40% more next year for those still employed, Biden's continuing rejection of a single-payer universal health care system may take on new meaning in a few months.

So, it's important for strong delegates to go to the state and national conventions to represent progressive policies and programs.

The process continues to evolve but deadlines are fast approaching so if you would like to be a delegate, sign up for a webinar (now through April 17) to help you navigate the process. Here's an overview for La Crosse county:

STEP ONE: County delegates are chosen at county caucuses which will be held ONLINE ONLY. La Crosse County will have 64 delegates in total to be split proportionally (based upon primary results) among the candidates. Dates of individual counties' caucuses will be posted by by 5 p.m. on Monday, April 20. County caucus dates will be either April 26, May 3, or May 10.

People wishing to attend the virtual county caucus and be considered as a delegate candidate must complete two forms: REGISTER TO ATTEND THE COUNTY CAUCUS AND COMPLETE THE DELEGATE SELECTION FORM BY 5:00 P.M. ON APRIL 17. It would also be helpful to email let the party know you are planning to attend. On these forms you will designate the candidate you wish to represent.

STEP TWO: You MUST virtually sign in to your county caucus between 1:30 and 2:00 p.m. on the day of your county caucus. At that caucus, delegates and alternates will be elected to move on to the next selection step. Usually La Crosse county has more than enough spaces to allow everyone wishing to be a delegate to be one but if there are more candidates than slots, there will be elections for delegates and alternates. Again, the 64 La Crosse County Delegates will be divided by presidential candidates based upon the percentage of votes received on April 7.

STEP THREE:  Attend the ONLINE ONLY congressional district caucus on May 17. You must be a county delegate in order to run as and vote for CD delegates. At this meeting, delegates to the August national convention will be elected. The Third Congressional District is allocated THREE MALE and THREE FEMALE delegates and these will be elected by those who attend the CD caucus. 

If you really want to be a delegate, then, it's helpful to encourage your friends to attend the county and CD caucus with you so they can vote for you at the CD level.

STEP FOUR:  Attend the DNC convention in Milwaukee during the week of August 17. It's not yet know if this will be an in-person or an online only event. You can get more information including updates at the DNC convention web page. 

If you have questions about any of these steps, please email couleeprogressive at hotmail.

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